With 5 wins under its belt, Brazil has won more World Cup championships than any other nation. They have also, for decades running, been seen as a soccer power-house, one to be feared by all opponents and respected by even those who do not even follow soccer. Why exactly were they so good? Rovo sought to find out, and this article is the product of such search.
Huge population, with the right culture
The numbers factor is particularly significant in this assessment, given that soccer is the most popular sport on the planet. The more people you have, naturally the higher the chance you will produce a professional soccer player. With a population of over 200 million, Brazil has one of the largest populations in the world. However, a catch must be added, and that is culture. Soccer has been less successful in countries with larger populations like Brazil - the best example of which is China - due to their being lacking in a soccer culture as strong as Brazil.
Deprivation is very often the mother of success, and this applies too to this very point. Futsal is huge in Brazil, but is yet to make a breakthrough in other parts of the world such as Europe or North America. Futsal originated in the 1930s in Brazil, when a lack of soccer amenities combined with a craze for soccer, meant that hockey posts and basketball courts were used as substitutes for soccer fields. Many, if not most, of the Brazilian professional players were and are steeped in futsal origins. Smaller pitches, five-a-side teams and heavier balls place a greater emphasis on close control, quick thinking, skill and use of space. This is perhaps the most consequential cross-training in esport.
Street football is the embodiment of the culture of soccer craze which is effectively universal across the Brazilian population. It is adaption at its best, and a demonstration that nothing soccer thrived and will thrive regardless of harsh conditions which would normally have killed the soccer flame in a less soccer-loving culture. Brazil’s unique combination of consistent hot temperatures and frequent torrential rains is not conducive for the conventional grass pitch so the only place you will find them in Brazil is in major stadiums. The benefits of access being given when rightful access is closed off, is proven by the fact that even Pele himself, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, played barefoot on the streets with a sock stuffed with paper.
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